Today in Tabs: You Have To Make Stuff

On capers, journalism, David Carr and other inherent vices.

Today in Tabs: You Have To Make Stuff
[Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images]

David Carr died last night. Carr wrote the Media Equation column for the New York Times, and achieved the impossible, in being a reporter who wrote about other reporters but was universally loved and admired by them. He was the highlight of the documentary Page One, and a clip from that film of Carr making VICE’s Shane Smith look like an asshole with just a few sharp words made the rounds pretty extensively. And while that scene does show one side of the man, one of David Carr’s gifts was the drive to question everything and everyone, especially himself. A few years later he wrote another column about VICE, where he revisited that interview, and this time concluded that “Being the crusty old-media scold felt good at the time, but recent events suggest that Vice is deadly serious about doing real news that people, yes, even young people, will actually watch.” My Twitter feed has been full of people sharing their memories of Carr, and almost all the stories had the same heart: “David Carr encouraged me when I needed it.” He surely never knew it, but he did the same for me, and I wish I had thanked him when I could have.


Because More is Better: Read Carr’s memoir about his cocaine addiction, Night of the Gun. Vox’s Sarah Kliff collected five of Carr’s best stories. Just hours before his death, he led a discussion with Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Edward Snowden. This NYT “Sweet Spot” segment with film critic A.O. Scott is hilarious, and Scott has a good remembrance of Carr, as does Dave Weigel. John Cook gives a sense of what Carr meant to a lot of reporters. Carr’s Redditask me anything” is packed with good advice for journalists. Listen to Carr talk about media on Fresh Air. Hamilton Nolan wrote about what it was like to be Carr’s best friend. And finally, his last column, a perfectly ordinary one about Jon Stewart and Brian Williams, nevertheless perfectly captures his empathy, intelligence, and ability to write a memorable sentence.

Today in Less Admirable Journalism: Jared Keller has been fired from Mic after Gawker posted a lot of examples of plagiarism from his work there. Keller himself blew the plagiarism whistle on his Mic predecessor, Chris Miles, who has now also lost his new job at Marketwatch, from which I can only speculate they didn’t know why he left his last job. The bad news is that, by Mic rules of succession, Gawker’s J.K. Trotter is now obligated to take up the ⌘-c and ⌘-v of Mic news editorship. Our condolences to him.

And Nick Denton lost his bet, because Dan Lyons is out at Valleywag. It’s supposedly because his back hurts or because he sold a book or something, not because he’s a bad writer with ugly ideas. I’m sure his career will chug along smoothly because David Carr may die at 58 but people like Dan Lyons are always just fine.

Bad liar pities good liar. Jerk wrong. They need to stop with these creepy robot dogs. But more drone racing please. From the center of my what? Read Kate Losse on the startup as a scalable cult. Drew Grant got a hold of a leaked House of Cards season 3 script and let’s just say it’ll put the catfish jelly back in your cottonwood. A twitterbot tweeted a threat to another twitterbot and police investigated (presumably because no one involved was a human woman). How the New York Times works is catnip for nerds. Krakauer published his findings on Chris McCandless’s death in the forthcoming March issue of the peer-reviewed journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine so maybe we can stop arguing about it now (no, of course we can’t). Jia Tolentino talked to the guy who had sex with a dolphin. Or, a guy who had sex with a dolphin, anyway, and isn’t that a thought to leave you with over the holiday weekend?

The world of dating has vomited up another appalling Black Mirror-style premise, and the intern found it for us:


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Guardian takes us on a deep dive into the tragedy of human romance. On Watch Me Date, two people wearing Google Glass go on a first date. The future is now, and it is glorious and/or appalling.

If you have ever wondered what a kiss looks like from the right eyebrow’s point of view, this is must-see content. I both want it to go away immediately, and to be made into a 24-hour rolling video channel of first dates.

Ian and Sarah, or A Three-Line Play on Finding Peace In Solitude.

Ian: I have Instagrammed myself. I’ve done a shameless selfie

Sarah: [deadpan] Have you.

Ian: Yes I have! And I hashtagged it #cyborgtime. And I banged it out there.

Love actually is all around.

Good job writing against Canadian type and resisting the Drake mixtape, Vicky! Go watch some celebratory hockey.


Today’s Pseudo-Educational Video: What the Lord of the Rings “One Ring” actually is [via Kottke]

Today’s Song: An amazing cover of “All Star” by Spanish swing band No Reply

~Keep tabbing until it turns into writing~

Today in Tabs is off Monday cause we plan to get too wild on President’s Day Eve. As of Tuesday though, you will once again find us on Fast Company and in your email. Until then, feel free to @ me. The title today is some of David Carr’s advice from his Reddit AmA which I know, Reddit, but it’s worth reading.